Impact100 Sonoma Awards the 2016 Impact Grant to 10,000 Degrees

Impact Grant Finalists2

Celebrating all of the Impact Grant Finalists

At its 7th annual Grant Awards Celebration, Impact100 Sonoma awarded the $100,000 grant to 10,000 Degrees to fund its program – 10,000 Degrees Institute Sonoma Valley Expansion, which will expand their two-year college access program focusing on academic support, college persistence skills building, and financial aid to students at Sonoma Valley High School and Hanna Boys Center. As the recipient was announced, cheers and applause filled the auditorium of Hanna Boys Center where Impact100 Sonoma members and guests gathered to discover who the 2016 recipients would be and to share in the excitement of the day at a celebratory reception.

Upon receiving the Impact Grant, Lisa Carreño, Regional Director for 10,000 Degrees, expressed her gratitude to Impact100 Sonoma “for your support and leadership in investing in 10,000 Degrees and our work with Sonoma Valley students and their families. We could not be more excited with this opportunity to further support their efforts to reach their dreams.”

This year, 276 women joined Impact100 Sonoma, providing a total of $276,000 to be awarded to selected Sonoma Valley nonprofits. This enabled the organization to award $20,000 to each of the three remaining finalists for the $100,000 grant: Becoming Independent for their program Pioneering Innovative Model to Benefit Sonoma Valley, Pets Lifeline for their Sonoma Valley Mobile Pet Adoption program, and Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance for their program THRIVE, The Heart’s Resilience is a Victorious Experience and to provide funding to 11 other nonprofits. As $5,948 of unspent grant funds from 2015 were added to the total, Impact100 Sonoma was able to award the rest of the funds, totaling $121,938, in Community Grants to the following nonprofit organizations:

— Ceres Community Project received $15,000 to continue their Healing Meals for Healthy Communities program serving families and individuals struggling with serious illness.
— Friends in Sonoma Helping (F.I.S.H.) received $15,000 to provide rental assistance to needy Sonoma Valley residents.
— La Luz Center received $15,000 to provide low-income Latinos with free, bi-lingual employment counseling, computer classes, and ongoing technology literacy assistance.
— Pets Lifeline received $15,000 to expand their in-house spay/neuter capabilities, so that all sterilization surgeries can be performed at the shelter.
— Redwood Empire Food Bank received $15,000 to expand their weekly distribution of fresh produce to approximately 300 low-income seniors, families and individuals in Sonoma Valley.
— Sonoma Community Center received $10,000 to replace their 30-year-old community gas kiln with a safer kiln that will help expand the ceramics programs.
— Sonoma Ecology Center received $2,316 toward their project to train teen EnviroLeaders in urban tree planting/care and community survey techniques to help enhance the Springs.
— Sonoma Valley Education Foundation received $2,316 toward their project to support overnight college field trips for students enrolled in their engineering and agriculture academies.
— Teen Services Sonoma received $15,000 to launch the TSS Welding Program pilot in conjunction with Hanna Boys Center as the first in a series of programs to prepare youth for construction sector jobs.
— Verity received $2,316 in support of their Youth Empowerment and Support program that educates children and youth to identify, prevent, and report sexual violence.
— Vintage House received $15,000 to support and expand their senior transportation project (LIMO) that provides free, local rides for life-enhancing purposes.

Over the past five months, Amy Rassen (Grants Oversight), Cathy Gorham (Impact Grant), Diana Sanson (Community Grants), and Lynne Lancaster (Grant Review Committees) led the process of narrowing the original applications down to four finalists for the $100,000 Impact Grant and 22 finalists for Community Grants. The finalists were selected after careful review by more than 90 Impact100 Sonoma members, who served on financial and grant review committees chaired by Karen Roche, Ann Iverson, Cameron McKinley, Robin Layton, Kathleen Leonard, Lisa Lilienthal, Claudia Sims, Meg Sokoloski, and Judith Walsh. The recipients of the awards were decided by a vote of the entire Impact100 Sonoma membership.

celiaThe Awards Ceremony began with some words from Celia Canfield (left), retiring Co-President, as she reflected on the “impact” of Impact100 beyond the obvious – the awarding of grants. She reminded us that a survey of our membership revealed that:

  • 94% of our members give to other nonprofits in Sonoma Valley,
  • More than 50% “often” volunteer with one or more nonprofit organizations and nearly 30% more do so “sometimes”, and
  • 70% have served on a nonprofit board.

“That is a very clear indication of what our members are doing in our community beyond just giving of their time and money to Impact100.” Celia also shared with membership our new vision and mission statements that “better reflect our raison d’etre: the true power and impact of our giving and our organization.”
Our Vision: A Thriving Sonoma Valley
Our Mission: Empowering women of Sonoma Valley to invest in a more sustainable nonprofit community through collective giving and responsible stewardship

That was a perfect lead in to Gera Vaz, Membership Chair, who encouraged all in attendance to make sure that they will be part of a 2017 record membership.

leslieJust prior to the grant awards, Leslie Medine (left), Senior Fellow with On The Move, provided the audience with an update on their program, Parent University Sonoma, that was supported by the 2015 $100,000 Impact Grant. Every goal that was set has been surpassed. They hoped to offer 20 classes for Sonoma Valley parents at El Verano and Sassarini Elementary Schools—they offered 60. They hoped to train five parent interns to lead special programs—they trained ten. Their goal was to have 300 parents volunteer in school programs—they had 367. And finally, they hoped to have 200 parents participate in Parent University and enrollment reached 509… all in one year. Following her presentation, members were able to enjoy the latest Impact100 video featuring Parent University.

The Awards Celebration was sponsored by Union Bank with in-kind contributions from Idell Family Vineyards, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Hanna Boys Center, Betty Sherer, and Debbie Drummond Information Technology Specialties. Hors d’oeuvres were prepared and served by students from the Sonoma Valley Teen Services Skills for Life program, the 2011 recipient of the Impact100 Sonoma $100,000 grant.

For a slide show of the grant awards ceremony, just click HERE.

For a wonderful slide show of the celebration, just click HERE.

All photos by Impact100 Sonoma member, Bari Williams